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Manalo Okadu Review

Manalo Okadu Review
Banner:
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Cast:
RP Patnaik, Sai Kumar, Anitha
Direction:
RP Patnaik
Production:
G.C. Jaganmohan
Music:
RP Patnaik
Movie:
Manalo Okadu

Manalo Okadu

IndiaGlitz [Friday, November 4, 2016 • Telugu] Comments

'Manalo Okkadu' was branded as a commoner's fight against the majestic ego of some media men.  Let's see how far the film lives up to this exciting self-description.

Story:

The film opens with Raghu Babu, the Editor of a sensationalist TV channel Moodokannu taking a new employee through how melodrama and worse are manufactured by money-crazy (TRP-crazy is a euphemism) journalists in newsrooms.

Krishnamurthy (RP Patnaik) is a devoted, unblemished college lecturer who goes out of his way to burn the midnight oil in educating his students.  His wife Sravani (Anitha, who was catapulted to overnight stardom by Teja's 'Nuvvu Nenu') is happy, teaching music and reveling in her husband's unbeatable fame for being unimpeachable.

Catharsis strikes this paragon of virtues when a girl student calls up Moodonkannu channel, alleging that Krishnamurthy sir has been making sexual advances to her.  In a span of a day, the ideal man Krishnamurthy's track record goes for a toss and he returns home that day only to find his wife seeing him as a villain unworthy of being talked to.

Krishnamurthy's quest for justice falls apart when Prathap (Sai Kumar), the baron of Moodokannu, and Jaya (Sree Mukhi), the journalist who did a genuine error in confusing lab assistant Krishnamurthy for Chemistry lecturer Krishnamurthy, tell him to not crib about the character assassination.  Overnight, the job is gone, parents of the college's students literally chase him away, and the entire population of the town (dramatically) look at him as a rapist on the prowl and a pedophile.

It's now up to Krishnamurthy to teach Prathap and the entire fraudulent Fourth Estate system a lesson by scheming to beat them with the same stick as they used against him.  In this task, he has an unlikely partner.

Analysis:

Written and directed by RP Patnaik, this film throws up a tight idea which lends itself to telling a narration with a twist or two.  At the level of ideation, 'Manalo Okkadu' excites interest, but at the level of execution it appeases only those who have lowered their expectations.

First of all, the vulnerability of a middle-class man whose survival is threatened because of the genuine error of a reckless media house has been portrayed well.  Watching an unfashionable Krishnamurthy being shamed makes for a heart-rending drama.

But, on the downside, the execution is not without its share of unimaginative liberties.  For example, there is no point in relegating Krishnamurthy's plight and fight and giving much space to lamenting the media through those many characters (a journalist, Gollapudi, etc).  Had Krishnamurthy been shown to be racing against time, there would have been enough of thrill.  The central character missing in sight for a good amount of screen time in the second half, is another complaint.

RP, however, should be congratulated for not being simplistic.  Without resorting to loud, crass protestations, he has shown the mindset of low-brow journalists in restrained language.
 
In one of the interesting scenes, Krishnamurthy is mistaken by Sree Mukhi to be causing nuisance.  A case of how genuine errors are made by the media is shown imaginatively here.

RP once claimed that he always thinks out-of-the-box.  "My imagination begins where others' ends.  In 'Broker', a hero was born among brokers, the usual suspects.  In 'Tulasi Dalam', I am trying to create horror in a bright backdrop.  In my film on the media, it's not the journalist but a common man who questions," he once told us.  Krishnamurthy allying with an unlikely element to bail himself out is another example.

The film again comes into its own in the climax.  The TV debate between Nasser, who plays a Union Minister, and Sai Kumar complements the outraging against the media as well as the story.

In what may be called a case of creative liberty crossing limits, Krishnamurthy is shown not to be pursued by the cops even though the girl who complained against him is missing.  On the other hand, in a throwback to old-age narration, the wife's behaviour puts us off.  (By the way, a full-fledged song for Anitha is too much.  Is she Anushka or what?).  There was no need to hail Krishnamurthy in such an outdated way.

Showing Sai Kumar like a bad-tampered editor crosses limits and he instead seems like an egoistic businessman or politician who can't tolerate questioning.  On the other hand, Sree Mukhi's arrogance is sightly.  Watch her say that we at the media only question and are not responsible for answering.

RP disappoints with his looks and even performance.  Director RP fails actor RP by choosing himself, in the first place.  Anitha is another let down and the pair and the mood do their bit in making the film look out-of-tune with the times we are living in.  These portions needed deft dealing to sustain interest.

Sai Kumar, Sree Mukhi, Nasser and the actor who plays RP's friend do a good job.  Jayaprakash Reddy's TV debates and Duvvasi Mohan's drunkard act don't wash.

As for the technical departments, they do an OK job within the budgetary constraints.

Verdict:

'Manalo Okkadu' is a story well-written and an execution reasonably interest-sustaining.  A calm take on the media, it makes for a good watch provided the expectations are low.

మనలో ఒకడు తెలుగు వెర్షన్ మూవీ రివ్యూ

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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